Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has so far not said a word about Wednesday’s nationwide parental rights protest, despite previously expressing support for parental rights.
According to the Canadian Press, Poilievre’s office sent out a memo to MPs telling them not to speak to the media or post online about the demonstrations, instructing them to only reference Poilievre’s past statements on the matter if responding to constituents.
So far Poilievre has chosen to tread carefully when it comes to wading into the debate surrounding gender ideology in schools.
True North reached out to the Conservatives for comment and clarification on where Poilievre stands on the matter and was referred to Poilievre’s past comments also.
“Protestors (sic) have legitimate points to make, and they enjoy the freedom of assembly and expression to make them,” reads the memo.
“On Wednesday mornings, party caucuses meet, requiring the attendance of all MPs. If needed, feel free to use (Poilievre’s) previous two statements to communicate with constituents on the issue of parental rights.”
Several provinces including Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba have moved to require schools to inform parents if a child under the age of 16 is undergoing a gender transition or using different pronouns while at school.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs attended a pro-parents protest in Fredericton on Wednesday.
“Parents want the role they play in their child’s life respected within the school system. I agree. And we can do that while still providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students,” Higgs wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
In an emailed statement to True North, Poilievre’s Director of Media Relations Sebastian Skamski referred to past comments Poilievre has made on the issue of parental rights.
One of the quoted comments by the Conservative leader was at Pakistani Independence Day in August.
“It’s about parents that are frustrated with government imposing contrary values on their children. My view is that parents should be the final authority on the values and lessons that should be taught to children. I believe in parental rights, and parental rights come before the government’s rights,” said Poilievre at the time.
Additionally, Poilievre spoke about New Brunswick’s changes to education policy and told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stay out of provincial jurisdiction.
“Look, this is a provincial policy. I know that Justin Trudeau has butted into that. The Prime Minister has no business in decisions that should rest with provinces and parents. So my message to Justin Trudeau is butt out, and let provinces run schools and let parents raise kids,” said Poilievre.
Poilievre also addressed the issue at MuslimFest London last month.